The Redskins made the biggest trade of the off-season, and arguably of their storied history when the team acquired the No. 2 overall pick in this upcoming draft. The trade with the St. Louis Rams will send the Redskins' first-round (sixth overall) and second-round picks in this year’s draft, plus first-round picks in 2013 and 2014, for what is expected to be the selection of Baylor’s Robert Griffin III.
Essentially, the Redskins mortgaged the house and summer home to draft RG3. While many believe it was a dangerous risk, it was the right move for this team at this time. Since 2000, the Redskins have featured 13 quarterbacks, and have not had a franchise quarterback under center since the great Joe Theismann.
In free agency, the Redskins have addressed a number of areas such as wide receiver and the secondary. However, there still remains a lack of depth in the secondary and the patchwork offensive line must be upgraded if the Redskins hope to keep RG3 safe. London Fletcher (egregiously) has yet to be re-signed and the Redskins still need to add another inside linebacker to compliment Fletcher.
The Redskins have drafted fairly well the past two seasons, and need to continue adding pieces that contribute sooner than later. Drafting a quarterback is the most important pick the Redskins will have made in a decade or longer so either way the draft goes, it will be a success for the Redskins.
No need for introductions here. One word describes this pick: JACKPOT!
2011 STATS: 90 Tackles, 10 pass break-ups
Harrison Smith is one of the few bright spots in a shallow pool of safeties available in the draft. He is considered the second best strong safety in the NFL Draft after Mark Barron. He impressed at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. Smith is a physical player with good size and speed that loves to lay the big hit. He also has the ability to be a ball hawk as he grabbed seven interceptions his junior season. His aggressive play could thrive under Haslett.
LaRon Landry signed with the Jets, leaving the Redskins with only Reed Doughty and DeJon Gomes as options at strong safety. With Landry gone, the Redskins need a physical player in the secondary that can play close to the line of scrimmage, blitz when needed and still cover. Smith, who also played sparingly at linebacker, can do all that. He needs to shore up his man-to-man coverage but could fill the void at strong safety for the next five seasons or more.
Philip Blake is one of the better centers available in this year's draft. He is a two-time Rimington Trophy Watch List member and started all 38 games in his three year Baylor career. He is a strong player with decent size that also started at right tackle during his first year. He is still developing at the center position but has the ability to be really good.
Blake was RG3's center for two seasons and what better way to get RG3 comfortable than to team him with his former center. Continuity between a quarterback and center is a valuable commodity, and though Blake is not ready to start immediately, he should be after a season of adjusting to the NFL. The Redskins do not have a consistent center on the roster, though Will Montgomery played well at the position last season. Blake could play behind Montgomery next season before taking over the reigns and moving Montgomery to guard. He would also provide depth this season at both center and tackle.
Lucas Nix was a three year starter at Pitt; one at right tackle and two at right guard. He is a well coached player that is strong, athletic and a good run and pass blocker. He is considered one of the top ten guards in the draft and ready to contribute to a team immediately.
He has played both right tackle and right guard in college but is projected as a guard in the NFL. At 6'5, 317, he has the size to play tackle at the next level. The Redskins lack depth on the offensive line and a player like Nix who can play both guard and tackle is a valuable commodity. He would compete with Chris Chester, a natural center, for the starting guard position. He has the athletic ability to play in the zone blocking system and should be an NFL starter soon.
2011 STATS: 142 Tackles, 3 Sacks
Carmen Messina, an All-Mountain West first team selection, is a tackling machine with good instincts and a high motor. He consistently plays at a high level and is technically sound. The Redskins have a big need at inside linebacker. As great as London Fletcher is (and he is great), he's 36 years old (soon to be 37), and the defense must prepare for life after London, even if it's not for another two seasons.
Messina would replace Rocky McIntosh and compete with Perry Riley for the starting spot next to Fletch. He's a great tackler with sound fundamentals, and under Fletcher's tutelage could develop into a productive starter. Messina is a great value in the fifth round.
Levy Adcock, a 2011 All-Big 12 First Team selection is also the owner of the best mullet in all of football. He has ideal tackle size (6'6, 322) and is a good run blocker who possesses great strength and quick feet. His pass protection requires development, but he did allow zero sacks in 2010.
The Redskins need to groom a young tackle to take over the right side for Jammal Brown, who just turned 30 and has been battling injuries for the past three seasons. Depth along the offensive line has been lacking and Adcock would be able to provide such. He has the size and ability to be a starting tackle in the near future.
2011 STATS: 64 Catches, 1,161 Receiving Yards, 5 TDS
Nelson Rosario is an intriguing late round prospect. At 6'5, he is a big target and has a penchant for big catches. He possess big play ability but his career at UCLA was inconsistent. Nelson is very athletic with good speed and could be developed into a dangerous red zone target.
Rosario's playing weight is around 230, and scouts believe that he has the size to play both tight end and H-back. Rosario's skills need to be developed but with Chris Cooley soon to be 30 and having battled injuries the past few seasons, Rosario could be groomed to be his replacement. Given his size, speed and talent, Rosario is a good value in the seventh round.